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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  April 17, 2012 12:00am-1:00am PDT

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>> rose: welcome to our program. >program. >> the cities are driving. we're the places of innovation, and diversity. we are going to be the places that people with ph.d.'s want to live and four year degrees and also want to thrive for their families. this is where art is done, the cultural experience and the in innovation for the experiences and the cities, mega cities are those epi centers. it's america's interest to invest in those cities. >> rose: we close with
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looking at the french politics and the upcoming french presidential election with frederic lefebrve. he's in the commerce and very strong supporter of nicholai sarkozy. >> it's the prizes in the world. it's presumed sarkozy are fighting against the crises since four years now. and i don't want my country stop this policing because it would be terrible for france. >> rose: the future of cities and french politics when we continue.
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captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose.
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>> rose: from classical athens to renaissance florence to 21st century new york, cities have produce the some of humanities best ideas and transformative movements. tonight we look at america cities with a distinguished group of mayors. we examine the great opportunities ahead as well as a considerable challenges in the soaring deficits and crushing debt, these men and women are working to find innovative ways to cut causes growing jobs and revitalizing their cultures. joining me is stephanie rawlings-blake, alvin brown and rahm emanuel, the mayor of chicago. i am please to do have each of them at this table. they're here because of bloomberg philanthropies is having a session of mayors talking about city problems and they're pleased to have a chances to talk to tell at the same time. i begin with the mayor of baltimore and the same question for each of you. how is this job different than you might have imagined even though you are on the city camp before you got there.
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-- city council before you got there. what is it you would say that makes this so challenging and interesting and some say the most, the best job in politics. >> i think the one thing i don't think any of us could have imagined was the great recession and the challenges and the new normal that that brings to all of our jobs. so that presents a significant challenge, having to do more with less. we've said all day that people want less taxes and more services. how do you do that. it's about making top choices and by being more like a business and that's why we use an outcome base budgeting process, it helps us prioritize our spending. that is a challenge but it's also, it helps us to make sure that we're doing the best that we can for our constituents and really getting the best out of the resources we have as limited as they may be in this great recession. >> this happens to be the mayors have held elected office so this is 24-7 job. it's not a job really it's an avocation and you got to love
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it. it's a high contact sport because people, being a millionaire is very accountable. yo accountable -- about a a are mayor is accountable. you have to be all in. what people expect is they want a mayor that can provide some hope, some aspiration but they want down in the trenches as well because that's the nature of running a estimate it doesn't stop. it's a job where you know something's going to happen tomorrow, you just don't know what it is. >> yes, i think for me coming in the office facing a $68 million deficit was tough. balancing the budget without raising the fees, i took a 20% pay cut declined pension. really those are challenges but i see opportunities. i decided to bring in five executives on loan from the private sector, focus on how we take jacksonville to the next level and i see tremendous opportunities. >> i would say two things. one, having served in congress, it's a little different at this
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table and in the whitehouse. this is the most immediate and intimate formal government in people's lives. when i was in congress, i used to this thing congress on your corner. i would stand at the grocery store and whatever people wanted to talk. nobody ever said hey why did you vote on 1484 that way. it was out there. here, you say i'm going to put a boat house on the river. you got a hunger strike in your office in half an hour. it is the most immediate and intimate form of government. it is the way people organize their lives. the second thing, you have 54 million, i came in with $634 million deficit. while the recession has been brutal on people's lives and it should not be under estimated, it has been an opportunity for us to really rethink and reform the way we do government and deliver services. it should not have been this brutal to get to that point but it has been an opportunity to
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actually think through different ways of delivering service to the public that we had not done or changing government. and you got to always bring that kind of which is innovation conference we're all here for. what can you do different, how do you think through a different way of serving the public, whether it's on public safety, public education or basic fundamental services the city's got to provide. >> rose: they want more services and less taxes. >> they want that but it's not just more services, they want it better. it's less about more and it's more about better. they want kind of the immediacy of when they call or basically say here's a pothole. there's time which you will get it filled and make sure it's going to get done and done with quality. they say they want smaller government for their neighbor. >> rose: right. [laughter] >> we were all joking today. they don't like change and they're not too happy with the status quo either. got them right where we want them. >> rose: for the moment the
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big picture. more and more people living in the cities, cities that have larger stair of the world's population, cities that become more and more important in the lives of every place. there is something as difficult as it is, there's something of majesty about a city, what it encompasses, what it means to us, it is where our great culture is, it is where our finest expressions of everything, whether it's finance or fashion or movies or any other aspect of innovation, creativity or technology, all of those things. it is where we sort of come together to share the human experience. >> i'm going to make that a commercial. [laughter] >> we just heard from eric schmidt earlier today from google who said that his most innovative teams are working in close proximity, that this sort of idea of distance working this distance working really hasn't helped productivity, innovation
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that they found that working close together and that's what we do in cities. we're the places, we're the halt bed of -- hot bed of culture and education because we're in the sense traition are concentratioe like minded people can grow and work off each other and you can't get that from a monitor at your house. >> in the 80's and 90's, 70's and 80's, density lost out to sprawl. and now in the last ten years more density is trumping sprawl and that's what eric was talking about. in our cities we've got younger workers, more productive workers. it is better quality of life in a sense that people are looking for it and so cities now have a strategic advantage it didn't have 20 or 30 years ago and people are not looking for the density and all the kind of excitement and cultural qualities that come with living with the city and all of us have to know how to accentuate that to our own economic strategic
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advantage. >> in ken kentucky think it's a rural state but most people live in kentucky the infrastructure standpoint are far different therein the rural areas. louisville is coming from internationals now so from a refugee to a ph.d. as well. how do cities in the heartedland of america like -- heartland of america like us become a melting pot. it gives us flavor and authenticity where we say come on down this is a good thing for us. >> rose: in every place is there a pull between a city and state, between the city and the federal government. [laughter] >> i can answer that question during a commercial break. [laughter] >> i have a consolidated city, government, we're consolidated we don't have county government. and so i have both fervent and rural and we're taking a balanced approach to economic
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development. so what i did was i introduced reform plan that will allow me to focus on economic development for the whole city. now we will be reporting to the mayor and then focusing on downtown development, which we created a downtown voment authority to strict - investment authority to make sure we have the infrastructure, water sewer and making sure we're working with the rural side and urban side. so i think the key is taking a balanced approach to economic development. and we do have to, i believe in focusing on taking a regional approach to jacksonville northeast water ledgering our scarce resources, making sure it's the engine of our community focus on those public pilot partships, that's what's helping us, partnering with the chamber and council to spur economic growth and development and make sure taxpayers get a return on their investment. that's been my approach. >> the state hasn't always been helpful in many ways. i want to make the river that
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runs through chicago the next recreational frontier. we're putting boat houses on the river for canoeing and turning the receive river it's never be. there's $10 minute for cleaning up the receiver. they're a big -- up the river. we have a great system, public transportation system than do all amtrak nationwide in a year. they've been a great partner in investing and we're modernizing our mass transit. that said, that partnership when they're trying to make changes in reforms at their level they can't shove their problems down on the city that's for you to big out with less money. so there is that conflict. on the other hand, when the agenda's aligned, there's nothing better than a city and the major city and a state partnering on a agenda, you can get thing done. >> rose: is it most of the time aligned or not aligned? >> it's hard, i don't think any of us wanted to jump in because
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we understand there is that tension, there is that tension but one of the thing that i really appreciate about the conference of mayors, it helps us, it gives voice to those concerns that we all face as mayors as it relates to state government and federal government. i think has been helpful to me because mayors need the same autonomy that states fight for when they fight for states' rights to that autonomy to address the need of their constituents. we just want to make sure not just in my state but nationwide that that need for autonomy doesn't fall on a deaf error when it gets to a -- deaf ear when it gets to the state house. >> the project is six inches from the goal line right now. it would not be happening if it weren't for the partnership between the state of indiana the commonwealth of kentucky and the city of louisville. that's an example of us coming together to get it done. on a much softer level but a lot of us talk about this, what's
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happening with local foods right now. you're seeing local movement of fresh foods coming into the cities where we're reclaiming our heritage, if you will. kentucky has more family farms than any other state in the country but all of us have some type of local food operation where we're connecting the rural areas of our state with the city. we consume $3 billion worth of food in louisville every year so we're trying to maximize the local content with the family farms in the state so hey hour customers are in the city and it's good we're in this together. >> can i pick up on this. i made a big push in my first year of recruiting companies to come to chicago. and it's gone very well. we're north of 13 or 14,000 jobs with the number of different companies. united operations center 1300 more jobs, general electric has 1100 add to a thousand. that said if the state doesn't work through on the pension issue, it is like the dark cloud hanging over and i can't create an island in the city of chicago. so when i say partnership, they've been great on mass
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transit system, great on certain things as i said on the river but the good news the governor is committed to do it, state legislature is committed to doing it. it will be a cloud over the ability of companies to come and set up shops in the city of chicago. it will be unfair to the taxpayers who are on the hook or the employees who are basically relying on it for their retirement. that partnership means focusing on some of the tough stuff and resolving it so we can all go forward. >> we use it in our sense water, helping companies to expand but particularly jacksonville. we just saved win dixie to keep their head quarter in jacksonville. we won the port because the port is a $19 billion economic engine and it's created 65,000 jobs so we were able to work with the federal government and we brought the private sector into the play with csx it is headquartered in jacksonville.
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we tried twice and lost but came in and brought all the key stakeholders together in one that federal grant which is going to help us so we do work together in key areas which makes a big difference. >> rose: what changes will have to take place because we live in economic environment that we do? >> pension reform. >> healthcare. >> pension reform. i mean pension has to be reformed, it's not sustainable. and i think that's going to be the key for cities. the ability to change their pension reforms so it can be sustainable, it's going to be fair to the city employees and fair to the taxpayers. it's very very important. >> rose: is it essentially changing the relationship to the contract between new employees and the future. >> it's more than that. it's really taken a comprehensive approach to a new system that's sustainable. right now in jacksonville you get 8.4% return guaranteed no matter what. and right now we're about a
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billion dollars, almost 1.5 billion dollars unfunded. that has to be fixed. >> you can fix it with traditional ways. in baltimore i had to do pension reform for new employees and existing employees which was extremely unpopular. but we had to tell the truth, you know. i believe that our firefighters and police officers they deserve a respectable retirement but they deserve the truth as well. >> rose: if i'm a farmer in baltimore and i'm retiring and i'm expecting my pension, what do you say to me. >> that i want to make sure that you have a pension system that will be there. and we had to make tough decisions to make sure that was the truth. that meant that for fire fiertle and police officers -- firefighters and police officers with less than 15 years on the job they had to work an extra five years but that would mean we could ensure their pension would be there. and it was an extremely tough decision to have to make.
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but the can had been kicked down the road so long that we made all these, cut all these deals when we couldn't do raises, when you couldn't do other things. we padded and padded and padded and the bill became due. lucky for me under my administration. and -- >> it never is. [laughter] >> you have to deal with it. >> a moment of truth survived on this. >> here's one they always -- first of all you got to start with the premise and we're all saying it. the workers have done everything. every contract, pay stub, they do exactly what the contract calls for. taxpayers, they've done everything they've asked. people in responsible positions have acted irresponsible for years. >> rose: giving away -- >> they agreed to something they couldn't afford knowing it and then didn't pay into it like they're supposed to. they fell behind on their bills. and it mounted year in and kicked down the can and kicked down the can. i they ar think people deserve e
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truth. if we make no changes, municipal employees, teachers no changes, property taxes will have to go up 150%. i'm not doing that. i'm not doing that. you'll not have every family will be stuck there, nobody will come move there, no company will come. you can't do it. when you say that to people, and i still visit fire stations, they know that you can't do that. so you have to make the tough changes, respectful to the people that are making life changes with their spouses, their partners of life about how to retire. and you got to respect that and you also got to respect taxpayers. we're going to make typical choices but when you retire because today i don't think it's an on the system of either and what stephanie says, we're going to arn honor you by giving you a system we know you're paying into it and it will be on the other end. >> rose: why should they trust you now. >> it's a total fair question because i'm actually starting off by the basis of telling the truth which is not said to them everybody always says don't
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worry bit, we'll figure the out at some other point. for the first time somebody said the jig's up. >> there's a private sector examples out there. this is what confuses the situation even more there's been a massive economic dislocation because of globalization going on right now. so you have the public sector economic challenges, you got the private sector economic challenges and you're starting to see in the private sector especially some of the larger unionized companies agreement on two-tier wage systems so there are some models in the private sector the public sector can look at. but this is our world is changing so rapidly right now that it's financial crises with government financial crises with local and multinational businesses and john q public is standing there going what's happening to my life. it's very confusing time for people. >> i would say the single most important thing we could do for economic development, everything, education. prek, k through 12. >> rose: into the future.
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>> everything, our -- >> rose: not where we are inventory case in respective cities. >> everybody can go through on them. we just decided that we had the shortest school days shortest school year. we're adding two weeks to the year and we're going to add an hour 15 minutes elementary, another 30 minutes high school to seven and-a-half hours. this goes elementary goes seven hours. an average kid, every year will gain another 40 days of education in the classroom. you go the whole distance first grade in high school, two and-a-half years more of education. we're changing our community colleges to a career-based education. >> rose: is that the case or the case with respect to education as has often been said is the quality of experience in the classroom. >> we have great teachers. great kids are locked into a system that doesn't allow them to achieve with a they need too. second is, one of the pieces, and this is my view and other people can speak. principles need to be focused on, teachers need to be focused on and parents need to be
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focused on. parents do not get a pass on the education of their children. that's where kids learn the value of an education. and principles are the responsible for -- principals are responsible for what goes on in the building and they are accountable just like the teachers, where the teachers are accountable for the classroom. >> rose: that includes education experience and behavior experience. >> and the focus. >> rose: expectation. >> structure, expectation, discipline and a little love. you give those to kids and they will achieve. >> you're exactly right. >> i think you got to have visionary leadership and that superintendent has to have the ability to see beyond his or her two to four five years when they're in that job. what will the 21st century quality public education look like? for me we don't control our school system, we have elective school board. as mayor i created the first commissioner of education in the history how far our city and we're working with the public schools. and i've initiated -- >> rose: power. >> yes, we do. we're working with the school,
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we've launched several programs, exposing people to the possibility of going to college by living on a college campus in the summertime, being on the campus, envisioning themselves when they may be able to go to college and have a solid job. i think that's very very important that we do that. we got to give them that opportunity. my mayor's mentor's program which is really different we have all these programs but this one peers chairing adults with students and meet with them wednesday a week for several hours working with them and helping them. the linkage of seeing success and being successful people is very very important. and really doing those partnerships. there are a lot of things that are working so virile bullet but when you try strategies and best practices that work makes a big difference now. my two boys are in public schools, my wife is involved, i'm involved and i've been involved before i became mayor so it's really really personal.
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>> our 55,000 degree program is a focus on 55,000 more graduates from college, either two year or four year than what we normally would have the year 2020. when we achieve that we will be in the quartile of american cities with adults with college education which leads to innovation and leads to job. we're not just saying quantity. one of the problem is kids are graduating but they don't have specialized enough skills to get jobs so it's the quality of education that you're pursuing as well. those needs of our country have changed. >> rose: a lot of the conversations about education today certainly k through 12 is the fingers are pointed at teachers' unions, is that fair. >> in some cases i think it is but i think if you painted that broad brush you miss an opportunity. and in baltimore, i'm very proud of the reform that we've had in our school system led by our school ceo but it's because of a partnership. when we had the new accountability measures and the teacher's contract it was a
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partnership. we did not look at the teachers as enemies. we said we are all in this, there's no way you would do what you do just like a passion for us, it's a passion for them. let's tap into that and figure a way we can do the best for our kids. no excuses, our school ceo as we take our kids as they are and we are determined no matter what you're leaving when you come, when you leave your house no matter what that circumstance is, when you get to school, you deserve an education and we're going to give it to you. and when you teach, treat the teachers as that partner, if you take off that layer, playing the blame game i think it's an opportunity and we found it. our enrollment is up, graduation is up dropout rate is up and african american men is one of the thing we've been talking about today. their statistics are improving. so you have to, number one you have to take the kids where they are. that's important, have a transformational leader but also understand and respect teachers as partners. >> rose: whenever you talk about african american men in an
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urban environment people point to statistics that say that 25% are in the judicial process. are they innovative programs at the city level that are trying to deal with this issue and would have been the most effective. >> i was impressed with what mayor bloomberg is doing and i know i will be taking a look at the young men's initiative which deals with, focuses on latinos as well as african american men. i think it's important to have that focus but every, if you take a look at all of our policies whether it's education policy, whether it's public safety policy, we have an impact on the future of young men in our city and in baltimore, our focus, our crime strategy is on targeting the most violent offenders. that means we're not casting a wide net and involving more individuals in the juvenile system, the justice system but we're still getting good results. homicide rate was the lowest
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since 77 last year but we're targeting. so i know that was something that mayor bloomberg talked about today that he's reducing the prison population but getting a safer city and that's how we impact young african americans. >> we have a high school, three charters, urban prep it's called in the city of chicago, only african american male. this year like prior years 100% attendance and acceptance to college. >> rose: 100%. >> 100%. i also want to, it's about setting expectations, driving towards a goal. they run threw charters, this program is called urban prep. it's all male, african american. you're talking about the hardest not so so on education for graduation rates and for college attendance. last year i went to their graduation or the kids, we took them to -- and the kid, they're all going, you know, all go to
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four year institutions. and it's quite an accomplishment and he's taken and we're trying to see how we can scale this up. that's a gender specific. i'm looking at and we're exploring other things as relates innovations. we're starting the five high schools that are international bacback balkbaccalaureate. kind of the riddle or equation or combination to the lot. kids, we know it's important to their education, education's important to their college. for too many kids, the link between school, college, job is just, there's gaps. we've tried now, we've got five high schools. >> rose: the perception. >> charlie the way i try to explain it to people, i got kids who live four miles from downtown and downtown is just a world apart from them. all the possibility there. and the education system finish high school so you can go to college. it's just not part of their
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world experience. so now we set assist tells high schools, science technology engineering, ninth grade to 14th it has the counseling, the mentor. you finish all the way to 14th, great. two year college. you will get your first interview at the school that is oracle, motorola solutions, microsoft, ibm, verizon. they've all each taken a high school. when i announce this, one high school on vocational school, they had a person specific just to answer phone calls from parents figuring how to enroll their kids. for these kids, they don't see high school finishing and relating to a job or relating to a college. it's just part, things that we have in our experience it's not there. so we have to put the package together. the tutoring, the mentoring, the job experience, all part of the single package so they see the continuity of it and the value at the end of the process. >> rose: get them early. >> get them very early. >> you got to create high
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expectations. a lot of these kids, nobody likes to talk about it but they hear every day i'm not going to make it, never going to be anybody, nobody loves them. i mean so you got to expose them, you got to go get them early and it's about expectations like the mayor said. >> some of the research says by the time the kid's ten years old in their mind they will already be thinking i'm going to college or i'm not. some of the most fascinating conversations i have when i see somebody nine or 12 years old where are you going to go to college. somebody will come up and say i'm going to be a doctor and i'm going to harvard. or somebody else will look at you like this and their parents will be there and they will either be really engaged or really embarrassed. setting those expectations early is important. i talked about 55,000 degrees. people say that's a big goal. how are you going to get 55,000 more degrees. i say one degree at a time. stepped up and they said we're going to do 15,000 degrees.
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so it take that type of community leadership to come up and say all right we're taking 15. and i say can i count you in. and they say count me in so a year from now you'll be going by a church, there will be a number on the door, 432. you go by another business it will say 36. and that's how many students they've committed to one at a time. that's what it takes. we get lost in government, big goals that don't mean anything. >> so it's like when you really think about, what he just described, you got a lot of organizions working in these schools, communities of schools, united way, big brothers, big sisters, we're bringing in city now. we've got all these organizations working to close the education gap. and it takes all of that to be successful. there's no one silver bullet. it's a lot of resources, very intense, a lot of these kids have challenges at home. single parents work two jobs, you never see the kids. a lot of these parents can't do
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their homework. so there are really challenges. hall walkehallmark is above thes level. >> charlie, here's -- >> right. >> you got eighth grade algebra call your uncle. it's a simple idea at a charter school, i was at a charter school and i was wanting down the hall and they had these college banners. what is this. we want to tell kids early to go to college. we're putting college banners on every classroom door and on the hallway throughout every school and i want to go in the elementary level. not in high school because i want these kids early on to know illinois, northern illinois, depaul, loyal law, this is in your future. it's in your future, it's expected of you that's why you're here. then you pull back, this education piece compared to a large piece. for a while a lot of our social ills nothing would be better than a family. it's not there. so we all struggle with
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government is a poor second can get great results. >> rose: you mentioned the private sector, private initiatives. is that a wave of the future in terms of urban life today.
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>> it's a public private partnership, the bright sector has to be the engine driving this process to create jobs, sustainable, economic development where they can leverage their assets and get a return on investments. you got to do that so i'm doing it. it is the key, it is the wave future. city government can't do it alone, state government can't do it alone, federal government. everybody has scarce resources. >> rose: and the private sector has a certain kind of still. >> absolutely. >> they don't have the skill base, they want to be involved. that's one of the things they're looking for ways to have an i pact. -- impact. >> rose: it's in their interest to have a better community. >> absolutely. >> i have an interesting conversations about citizenship. what's it mean to be a sit un, to a company to an individual. i pay taxes that's all i have to do. the reality is the global challenges, the 4r0 global challenges are so imis mens right now if we don't have
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people giving their hands head and heart in addition to a tax check we're not going to win in this global economy. >> rose: let me turn this around. go ahead. >> let me say this. one of the things we've aligned, we have great corporations in chicago in my view the best of corpcorporate citizens in our ps and schools. like in the community colleges, we are literally getting them in and doing the curriculum and training is in their self interest and therefore it's in the city's self interest so i consider that a public private partnership. they are helping develop the curriculum and healthcare, transportation distribution, advanced manufacturing. they're going to get trained workers and i'm going to get a growing economy and that is a win/win if you awe lan your interests. >> rose: are you looking at cities in america at a shrieking middle class. >class. >> it's in a city in rural communities across the country middle classes many would say under siege. the work we're doing around even caying, the work that --
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education and the work that recalrahmis fighting for that'ss going to take. >> rose: it's an issue if you got to fight to hold them. >> right. >> it's not the same way it was before we've created a regional economic plan with lexington, kentucky about an hour done the road in advanced manufacturing. working from the high school level to the ph.d. level from semi skilled manufacturing skills to ph.d. advanced manufacturing automobile electification skill for advanced battery technology so we can feed the needs of that area of advanced manufacturing and get those middle income jobs back. if we don't have middle income jobs in this country, our country is a vast different place than it was decades ago. >> rose: we have a different economy. >> and we start every conversation with are we a global productivity and quality levels. that's a given. >> one thinking that's interesting, trust me, i'm not
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an advocate for what happened here in the recession. it was a great piece in the cranes in chicago business about three or four weeks ago. middle class families couldn't sell their homes around the time of sixth grade when they were about to so they have stayed and they are demanding cheerntionz in schools. if you give in my view a good mass transit system, safety, quality school, you won't get the cities last 20 years that we are dividing among rich and poor. the middle class will stay and thrive in the city. and the key is the schools followed by public safety and followed by the ability obviously to get to and from their jobs and all the quality that comes with it. >> rose: structure. >> big time. the schools, the main reason people left the schools, you give them the schools, you're going to have a thriving middle class, you'll have an economy that's thriefing an thriving.
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>> rose: i want to close on the motion we live in such a global world today. you're hosting in your city nato. >> in about two weeks we're having 14 nobel peace prize winners, gorbachev, the dalai lama are all coming to chicago and doing programs throughout the schools and it's done with robert kennedy. so it's prior to that, about a month before the nato leaders come are going to be, it's the only city in america that all the nobel leaders are coming. they did it in paris, berlin, in rome and now chicago. and i do think this, the world competition economics is down to about 50 to 60 mega cities around the world. the cities are driving that economic competition. we're the places innovation, we're the places of diversity that's going to be america's strength. we're the places that people with ph.d. want to live and four
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year degrees and also want to thrive for their familiar lays. that's the innovation for the businesses and mega cities are those epi centers. that competition is at america's interest to invest in those cities not to see the sprawl and i think our density and all the things that come with it are our strategic advantages that now have to be played to our strengths. >> which means they've got to view cities that compete in the global economy in order to compete in the marketplace so you want to have those investments that's going to allows us to track companies and focus on export and do all the thing that's going to make us relevant, competitive in the 21st century. >> that means one thing, life long learning. the most satisfying conversations i have is when the people say the world has changed, i'm going to learn something new every day to be relevant and competitive. it is change. cities that are life long learn cities are cities that are going to win. >> rose: that's a mission at this table. thank you for coming. >> thank you for hosting. i'm proud to be here with mayors who understand the status quo is
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not an option and with urgency we have to move our cities forward. thank you for bringing this conversation to the people. >> rose: thank you. it's a pleasure. new ideas are clearly part of the city innovation that you've been talk big at this conference. thank you all. back in a moment. stay with us. >> rose: frederic lefebrve is here he's the french minister of commerce for small and medium enterprises tourism and politics. he's a key figure in the government french citizens are preparing to vote in a presidential election, the first round of voting will take place april 22nd. a pressing issue will be the domestic economy and the european debt crises. i'm pleased to have him here at the table for the first time. welcome. >> thank you. >> rose: how do you see the significance of this election? >> you know, this election is so involved for france because it's the crises in the world and we
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are fighting against the crises since four years now. and i don't want my country to stop this policy because it will be terrible for france. >> rose: i should say that you obviously are a strong supporter, you are a long time friend of his met him way back when he was mayor and beginning his political career when he was in his 20's. >> exactly. and then i was his adviser when he was young minister, he was minister of the tressel and then he was minister of the intereuro and i was adviser. i was then a member of the -- >> rose: national assembly. >> the majority and i was spokesman for the presidential talk. so i know him very well.
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and you know, he is president of this time. he is the candidate of the past. you know, his opponent is in self admit being in line with the french of 30 years ago. france of 1981 when president mitel was president of france. >> rose: of the same party, socialist as well. >> yes, socialist as well. and to build the france of the 21st century. we can't do that with ideas of the past, you know. >> rose: he would argue that you're forgetting that france
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has had a social contract with its people for a long long time. and that he's trying to restore that greatness understanding the central role the state has played in the life of french for a long time. >> i can't say that you know in fact during this crises all the social please polices were never interrogated and we were close to the poor people during this time. because the faculty knows that we have the same goal, the main goal of president sarkozy, the same goal as president obama. you know. we have to boost growth, we have to create employment. >> rose: but that's exactly
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what he says is the difference. he says the president wants to in a sense attack the debt and deficit at the expense of growth and is basically saying i'm prepared to make sure we have a growth economy with not such an emphasis in expending. >> he wants to raise taxes. >> rose: he says that quite plainly. >> yes. and it's not a good place for france. if we want to be, if we want to be on the future, if we want to be, we are the fifth economy in the world. if we want to keep this place, we have to reform courageously. and the solution can be raise taxes. it's the only response, the only
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answer of francois. he has no experience. >> rose: this election is a referendum on president tzar scee --sarkozy. he came to the office with high hopes and great expectations because he said he was going to change france. and now this is a referendum on him and a lot less about francois. >> every person has to ask himself two questions. what is future for my country and what is the future for me. you're not against somebody, you're not against sarkozy with an election as important as this one. because it's the future of france.
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and you know, i would say you don't take the list from somebody, somebody who doesn't ask a drivers license otherwise it's the crush, the car crush, you know. >> rose: meaning that mr. alan doesn't have experience. >> he doesn't have any experience . >> rose: he's never been a minister. >> he's never been a minister. >> rose: he was head of the socialist party. >> yes, that's all. and sometimes some americans people i met told me that barack obama is the same. >> rose: because barack obama had no experience. >> no, it's not the same. you know that they have more advisors, u.s. senators than the
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president. >> rose: the u.s. senators. >> yes. we can't compare. >> rose: i wouldn't measure anything by the number of advisors. i think that's not a way for all of us, it's experience and what kind of experience do they have and does that experience suggest they will be wise in a certain direction. president obama i think in american politics the conventional wisdom is that he has been more effective in foreign policy than economic policy. but he had less experience in foreign policy than in -- >> you don't know but i was supporter of barack obama before he was president in 2008. i was the spokesman of the presidential party and i was wearing the t shirt barack obama when i was doing my spot because i love america. and because i was sure that the
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election of president obama was a chancement i met three or four days ago in paris, three of his web advisors. >> rose: his web advisors. >> yes. it was very nice. i was telling them, it was a joke but i was telling them like we say in france because maybe you know the french national sport is kimble and like we say in france sarkozy, obama same players shoot again. that would be great for france, for the united states and for the world. >> rose: they used to call him america's best friend in france. >> yes, they are. they are really friends. the friendship between our two countries is so strong at this
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time because of barack obama, because of nicholai tzar sceez, sceez -- sarkozy because of president obama and because of sarkozy. it's important forur two countries to continue to work. you know, when nicholai tzar keefs was the -- sarkozy was the president of europe, it was the crises and he had the idea of the g20. this g20 is the way was for the countries in france and the united states to build this new world. because i'm sure the crises is not crises like the one we've seen in the past. >> rose: if he wins, what will be different about the next
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tzar campsarkozy administration? >> you know, maybe it will try to question directly french people on many topics. because it was very difficult during this three or four years. he wanted to reform and every time there was somebody to stay no you can't, no it's not. and you know the trade unions and it was very, the media, it was very very difficult. i am sure during this campaign it's building a new relation with french people.
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>> rose: if after the election the first round this weekend results in alan and nicholai, the polls show alan would be about 10 points ahead, 8 to ten point 10 points ahead. >> i never read the polls because when they increase or when they decrease, if you wanted to go, if you want to work, you don't have to read the polls clearly. i prefer to go to meet people to meet the french people in france in united states too.
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>> >> rose: i want to go to europe in a moment. i have several questions about europe but also at the same time clearly you are partisan for initial linicholai sarkozy and e anyone to come to this program before the election and talk on behalf of francois hollande. tell me about your debt crises in particular. >> well everybody is looking at the situation in spain and greece. in europe and the word. -- the world. but we have together all the countries of europe. that's very important. that's the policy of nicholai sarkozy. because you know, i remember
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when i was in washington with christian nagal, i was a member of the parliament and when lehman brothers, the crash of lehman brothers, if there's a crash of european country, it will be bad for everybody. everything in europe, everybody in the world. so we have to reduce the deficit. >> rose: the deficit. >> yes, we have to reduce it. our target is the balance in 2016. the target of francois hollande is 2017. but the difference is he wants to raise taxes. and you know. >> rose: he says he wants to
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tax the rich. >> yes, not only the rich. you can't reduce deficit if you tax only the receiver. if you want to reduce deficit by taxes, you have to tax everybody. that's the truth. he is lying during this campaign, francois hal hollande every time. remember moody, everybody was saying it was moody to change the credit for france. >> rose: credit rating for france. >> in fact it's not true. it's not true. you say in america it is a flip flop, flip flop.
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>> rose: all right. i don't want, first of all i want to thank you. i tell you one very good thing that most americans believe is that nicholai sarkozy has chosen a brilliant member of your diplomatic corps to serve in washwashington, francois has sed france with a extraordinary skill both here in new york and in canada and now in washington. >> exactly. >> rose: so a wise choice i think from the standpoint of americans have explained france to america. i thank you for coming. a pleasure to have you. >> thank you. it was really nice for me to be here because you know you are so famous in france and it's my first american tv show. >> rose: thank you. >> it was so great for me to be here with you. >> rose: thank you so much.
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